I don’t feel 48.
At least I didn’t until Colleen, the Marketing Content Associate who works for me, asked me to write this blog. “Hey, would you write something about working with Millenials?” She asked very matter-of-factly. “You know…working with the kids and all.” She finished. Her expression, a confident visual pause, communicated nothing less than her absolute expectation that this would all be positive. Note to self—don’t play cards with Colleen.
Since becoming Colleen’s boss three or so months ago, the fact that I’m twice the age of the majority of the people who work for me has lingered in the back of my mind. Now it’s front and center [Thanks Colleen]. I’ve managed and worked with lots of younger people, but, it feels different now. The age gap is wider…double.
[A few days go by while I contemplate the dark reality.] I come to the realization this blog is actually about me not them. Did Colleen engineer this trap? Who put her up to it?
What I’ve found by working with any generation, X, Y or Z, is my personal happiness directly impacts how I feel about those I’m working with, or even those in the same proximity [we Xers perfected the cubicle]. And conversely, my happiness is largely affected by my perception of the degree of tolerance I’m afforded in day-to-day machinations by those I work with, for and around [my wife empathizes with the plight of my current employers and especially those who work for me]. I wouldn’t say I was high maintenance, but, others would and have.
So, this Millennials thing. If Colleen and cohorts are expecting me to make nice and gush about how this generation of citizens is misunderstood and that they have their own sense of what’s important, and that they have a better work/life balance [in spite of efforts by the hordes of middle-class Xer employers that try to break their spirit because they’re pissed off about being “older” and still in the middle class], and that they remain perverse optimists in a world that gives them absolutely no reason to be, well…
Here’s what I know about the Millenials that work with me [Ellen, Lauren, Colleen, Jake and Dan]. We learn together. We solve problems together. We strive to make our work play together. We love our company and colleagues together.
And we’re not perfect together. I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with age [so, stick that in your pipe app and smoke it Colleen!].
Check back for more posts on Millennials and Gen X in the workplace!
Written by: Rod Morton